Founded in 1933, Atlanta's John Marshall Law School is committed to helping students from all backgrounds access the legal education they deserve. The Law School attracts a diverse student population and strives to meet the educational needs of every student.
As a student at John Marshall Law School, you must abide by various academic policies. These policies are, in many ways, similar to Georgia's Rules of Professional Conduct which lawyers must obey if they choose to practice law in the state.
Students who fail to comply with the policies could face disciplinary action, which may severely impact their future career prospects – you must seek an experienced attorney's advice if you find yourself facing misconduct allegations. However, to help you understand your responsibilities, here's a rundown of the John Marshall Law School disciplinary process.
Law Student Misconduct at John Marshall Law School
Law students at John Marshall must abide by the Law School's Code of Student Responsibility. There are four parts to the Code:
- Canons of Ethics
- Disciplinary Rules
- Organizational Rules
- Procedural Rules
The Code applies from the time you apply for admission until you graduate. You can find the Policy on Plagiarism and the Code of Student Responsibility in the Student Handbook.
Canon of Ethics
As stated in the Canon, law students must act with honor, integrity, and a sense of personal morality. They should behave responsibly and report any violation of the Disciplinary Rules to the Law School.
Importantly, breaching the Canon of Ethics may not be grounds for disciplinary action unless the student also violates the Disciplinary Rules.
The Disciplinary Rules give examples of behavior that may constitute misconduct, such as:
- Dishonesty, including plagiarism
- Stealing or damaging Law School property
- Deliberately disrupting social or academic functions under the guise of the Law School
- Misrepresenting facts with the intent to deceive the Law School
- Revealing confidential information about the Law School without permission
- Deliberately harassing one or more members of the Law School
- Acting in a way that is evidence of “bad” moral character
The Law School can impose a wide range of sanctions, depending on the nature and severity of the breach. The sanctions include:
- Written warning
- Lower class grades
- Restricted student privileges
We can find more information about the disciplinary process in the Organizational and Procedural Rules.
John Marshall Law School Organizational Rules
The Organizational Rules establish various panels and positions of responsibility.
- Disciplinary Hearing Panel: The Hearing Panel conducts hearings regarding alleged Disciplinary Rules violations.
- Disciplinary Appeals Panel: This Panel hears appeals from judgments made by the Hearing Panel.
- Presenting Counsel: The Dean will appoint a faculty member to investigate complaints, present evidence to the Hearing Panel, and make relevant arguments.
- Defense Adviser: This faculty member can explain the charges and the applicable Rules to the student, but they can't represent them at a hearing. You should hire an academic defense attorney for representation.
Together these members form the Law School's Committee on Code of Student Responsibility.
The Law School Disciplinary Process
Complaints against a student must be made in line with the Procedural Rules.
If a student suspects another student violated the Rules, they can make a complaint, in writing, to the Dean. The Dean can either meet with the student accused and resolve the issue or refer the matter to the Presenting Counsel.
- There's no need for the Presenting Counsel to meet the student, but they must consider any written statement they make.
- The Defense Counsel should inform the student they have a right to independent representation.
The Presenting Counsel can either:
- Refer the matter back to the Dean for disposal or dismissal; or
- File a specification of charges for the Hearing Panel.
Before a formal hearing, the Hearing Panel's Presiding Member should schedule a conference with the student and their representative setting out the charges. The student can admit the accusations or deny them.
At the Hearing Panel, the members hear the evidence available from both sides and examine any relevant witnesses.
- The student accused must testify if asked to do so
- They can call their own witnesses and cross-examine witnesses if required
- All evidence is admissible unless it's deemed unfairly prejudicial or irrelevant
A strong proof of guilt is required for the Panel to rule against the student and impose any disciplinary action.
The Appeals Process for Student Misconduct
Once the Panel issues its final judgment, the student has ten days (excluding holidays and Sundays) from receiving the judgment to file a written appeal with the Appeals Panel.
No further evidence is admissible. The Appeals Panel will only reverse a decision if they believe an alternative disciplinary action is preferable based on the case facts. Meaning, even if the Hearing Panel made a procedural error, this won't be enough to reverse a decision.
How a National Student Defense Attorney Can Help With Misconduct Allegations
Are you a John Marshall law student facing misconduct allegations? You're probably feeling incredibly stressed and overwhelmed right now. These feelings are understandable: after all, an academic misconduct allegation could seriously jeopardize your future career prospects, especially if you're unable to complete your studies.
If you're dealing with a misconduct allegation, you need the support of an experienced student defense attorney. An attorney-advisor can ensure you understand your rights and build the strongest possible defense. They will stand in your corner and ensure you get the fair hearing you're entitled to based on John Marshall's disciplinary codes. They will also help you navigate the appeals process, if appropriate.
From plagiarism to misrepresentation, attorney-advisor Joseph Lento can help with any law student misconduct charge. Don't try to handle the disciplinary process alone – call us now on 888.535.3686 or leave us a message online to get help.